tv The Colbert Report Comedy Central August 8, 2011 9:55am-10:25am PDT
>> jon: that's our show. join us tomorrow night at 11:00. here it is your moment of zen. ["the colbert report" theme music captioning sponsored by comedy central captioned by >> stephen: tonight, president obama makes a deal with republicans. and in exchange, he gets really good at guitar. [laughter] then, a new technology to honor the dead. that burp you hear means the coffin has sealed in the freshness. [laughter] and my guest tony hsieh is the ceo of zappos which means if i don't like him, i can return him for free.
[laughter] a new study says colon cleanses can be risky. but i think they just pulled that finding out of their ass. [laughter] this is "the colbert report." ["the colbert report" theme music playing] captioning sponsored by comedy central [cheers and applause] thank you. [cheers and applause] woo! [cheers and applause] [cheers and applause] oh, boy. good to have you with us. [cheers and applause] thank you. [cheers and applause] [crowd chanting stephen] thank
you so much, everybody. i want to give a big shout out out here, out there to all my bronies who may be watching. [laughter] don't ride the white brony. after laugh it's -- [laughter] nation, it is exactly 11:32 eastern time, if i had not pre-taped this show four hours ago. [laughter] so i don't know whether congress has passed the compromise plan to raise the debt ceiling. or whether we defaulted and you are watching this from a cave, eating squirrels that you are cooking over a pile of u.s. treasury bonds. [laughter] now, i'm betting default which is why i spent the weekend bottling my own urine to use as drinking water.
remember, you want to run it through the brita three times. [laughter] after that, you are golden, or rather you are not. [laughter] but if the unthinkable happens and congress cooperates, there's a silver lining to solvency because this is the best kind of deal-- the kind democrats hate. >> now is this the deal i would have preferred, no? >> we all may not be to be able to supported it or none of us may be able to support it. >> this is not a balanced approach. >> this is a satan sandwich. [laughter] >> stephen: yes, for the democrats this is a satan sandwich, a beelze-b-l-t, a because the deal gives the republicans $2.4 trillion in cuts with no increase in taxes or closing loopholes for corporations and the rich. in return, the democrats get a
rise in the debt ceiling that lasts until 2013. you know you've won a negotiation when the opponent's only demand is not to have to negotiate with you again for a long time. wlaf laugh -- [laughter] as speaker of the house john boehner said, the republicans got 98% of what they wanted. so obviously republicans are thrilled. >> from the republican party's point of view we can declare victory. i'm not ready to vote for this. >> this say victory for our leadership. i can't vote for this. >> this is not something i am inclined to support. >> i'm not inclined to support it. [laughter] >> stephen: yes. this is a victory but it could have been so much victory-er! what about a balanced budget amendment? what about a tax cut? what about making obama eat a bug? [laughter] i believe that's in the tea party platform. and we could have gotten it all, because the president clearly responds to threats.
and this is the third time. it's like the billy goats gruff. obama's the troll. [laughter] back in december the smallest billy goat said, "mr. troll, let me cross your bridge so i can go to the other side and renew the bush tax cuts or i will call you a job killer." [laughter] now, the troll had promised the people who elected him bridge keeper that he wouldn't let this specific goat cross. but keeping in mind his other trollish priorities, he made the political calculation to let the goat pass and bring this issue up later with a bigger goat he knew was coming. [laughter] then, this spring the medium-sized billy goat showed up and said, "mr. troll, let me cross your bridge, so i can cut spending or i will shut down the government." [laughter] now, everybody had seen this
exact match up in 1995 and knew a troll could win it by eating the goat and then celebrating by having sex with a troll intern. [laughter] okay? getting college credit in bridge keeping. [laughter] but the troll said "now is not the time. there's a bigger goat coming and i trust that that goat will do the right thing." so he let the medium goat pass. then, this summer the largest billy goat came clopping up and said, "mr. troll, i will not raise the debt ceiling unless i get to gouge out your eyes and throw you off the bridge." [laughter] so the troll had to compromise by gouging out his own eyes and throwing himself off the bridge. the moral of the story is -- when the first goat comes along, you gotta tear it's head off, have sex with the neck hole, mail the carcass back to its brothers and say, "any of you
other goat (bleep) want to put a hoof on my bridge?" the end. [laughter] [cheers and applause] the end. by the way, i am available for children's parties. [laughter] of course, fiscal conservatives like me insist on a balanced budget amendment is because we've tried everything else. mitch mcconnell talks. >> the constitution must be amended to keep the government in check. we've tried persuasion. we've tried negotiations. we've tried elections. nothing has worked. >> stephen: yes! when it comes to balancing budgets, democracy just not up to the job. it was good enough to defeat hitler and the russians, but it's not good at math. [laughter] because in a democracy elected leaders need to get reelected. and if they make decisions people don't like, they
sometimes lose. fortunately, this debt ceiling deal has a way to fix that. and it brings us to tonight's word: [cheers and applause] with great power comes no responsibility. [laughter] folks, we will never balance the budget without reining in social security and medicare -- but that's hard because grandma votes. [laughter] and she refuses to take personal responsibility for getting old. [laughter] well, this debt ceiling compromise proposes a new legislative body. >> now comes a plan to put power in the hands of a "super congress." >> the so-called "super congress." >> this "super congress." >> "super congress." >> are you ready for this -- "super congress"? >> stephen: yes, i'm ready for the "super congress"! [laughter] i've always dreamed of encasing
harry reid's skeleton in adamantium, or making mitch mcconnell into a ninja turtle. [laughter] but it turns out, this "super congress" is even cooler. >> it consists of 12 lawmakers, evenly divided between the two parties, the rest of congress would not be allowed to amend or filibuster its recommendations. >> stephen: yes, only twelve lawmakers. this is great because the real problem with congress has always been too many reasonable people. [laughter] but even better, only twelve people have to make these unpopular recommendations. that way, when social security and medicare get cut, the non "super congress" can say, "hey, i didn't push grandma in front of that train, i just voted in favor of those twelve guys doing it." [laughter] of course, even that might make incumbents politically
vulnerable, so instead of voting on supercongressional legislation, congress should just vote up or down on ream of blank paper. [laughter] nobody knows what was passed until the effects start showing up. say, grandma starts eating dog food. [laughter] sure, she's angry, but she can't take it out on her congressman come election time. unless he or she is one of the 12 members of the "super congress." those guys are gonna have a problem. [laughter] so the only way to avoid voter reprisals is to make the "super congress" anonymous. [laughter] in fact, the super-congressmen themselves shouldn't know if they're in the "super congress." everyone gets to vote, but only twelve of them count.
[laughter] it'll like a firing squad where one guy has a blank, so they can all tell themselves that they didn't execute the prisoner. only in this case, they're aiming at a grandma who's been convicted of costing us money. [laughter] there. problem solved. because only when congress has no accountability can they lead this country back to personal responsibility. and that's the word. we'll be right back. [cheers and applause]
[cheers and applause] >> stephen: welcome back, everybody. thank you very much. folks -- [cheers and applause] it won't be the first time i've said this but folks, i'm doing everything i can to ward off the cold hand of death. that's why i wake up early every morning and eat 3 packs of oscar meyer cold cuts. i'm slowly curing my organs in nitrates, so they have a shelf life of eternity. [laughter] but in the unlikely event that i am mortal, i think i've found the way i'd like to be honored when i die. >> an alabama company called holy smoke is offering to turn your loved one's ashes into real bullets that can be fired. they use a pound of ashes and small portions placed into each shell or cartridge. the company claims their service is actually cheaper than burying a loved one. 250 bullets will cost you $1,250.
>> stephen: this is a great day for america, because we're finally extending 2nd amendment rights to dead people. [laughter] it's like they say: "you can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands!" now we can fire bullets containing those hands, and probably some leg. [laughter] plus, this is a genius business model. you put 250 rounds into the hands of a devastated family member in an unstable emotional state, and someone might get shot. and boom, new customer! [laughter] who his family can honor by turning into bullets in order to avenge his death. cha-ching! [cheers and applause] i'm worried about her. she needs counseling. [laughter] as holy smoke founder clem
parnell said: "i want my ashes put into some turkey load shotgun shells. that way, i will rest in peace knowing that the last thing that one turkey will see is me, screaming at him at about 900 feet per second." [laughter] >> stephen: and how special that thanksgiving will be for clem's grieving family? he may not be there with them at the meal, but chances are, there are bits of him in the meal. [laughter] but it's not just for personal reasons that clem started the company, he and his business partner realized there was a need for an individual's choice in how his or her life could be remembered or honored. [laughter] yes, there was a need! until now, if you wanted to honor nana's dying wish that her remains be used to kill wildlife, you had to load her into a circus cannon and shoot her at a moose. [laughter] so, bravo holy smoke, for giving
[laughter] please welcome tony hsieh. [cheers and applause] hey mr. hsieh thanks so much for coming up you are the c.e.o. of zappos. >> yes. >> stephen: everybody knows you get your shoes there. you retail clothing? >> even handbags kitchen wear, housewares. a whole bunch of categories. >> stephen: you are selling happiness. >> yes staoefrpblgt the name of book is "delivering happy happi a path to profit passion and purpose." i've been told that money can't buy happiness. i've long suspected it was a lie. are you telling me i'm right? >> we talked about a business model in the book. we're talking about as happiness
as a pwod model, making customers happy, making employees happy. >> stephen: you've got ten ideas, corps values you live by at zappos. number one, deliver wow! [laughter] through service so you are not just sending me shoes begun you are sending me wow. >> exactly. >> stephen: what does that mean selling or delivering wow? >> part of it is we offer free shipping both ways so a lot of customers order ten different pairs of shoes, trying them on in the comfort of the living room and we pay for the shipping back. kind of like netflix for shoes or clothes. we have a 365 return policy for people that need more time committing or making up their minds. for most of the loyal cut of mes we promise they get their order in a week but for most we do a surprise upgrade to overnight
shipping. the shoes show up eight hours later and that creates that whole -- [cheers and applause] >> stephen: wow. >> exactly. >> stephen: a lot of people need jobs right now. okay, you know what are you looking for in a zappos employee? you say that you value weirdness. >> yes. >> stephen: what are you looking for? are you looking for a guy who comes in with a pet snake around his shoulders and starts rapping rapping -- what do you mean by weirdness? >> well, we do two sets of interviews for everyone we hire. the first is standard stuff looking for skills, experience, and so on. the second set is a culture fit. for each of ten core values one of them is which create fun and a little weirdness. we have interview questions for
them. the key word there is a little weirdness. >> steve: people are allowed to have costume parades. >> yes. >> stephen: people spend the night at your house, is that true? occasionally. okay is this a cult? are you dear leader father of a krult? do you have child brides? how much control do you have over those people? >> that's why we came up with our list of ten corps values. if you do a google list you can see what they are and it's not myself out there hiring people. it's actually everyone in the company knows what the corps values are. and they help, they make the business decisions based on the corps values in terms of what is right for the company and customers. >> stephen: the tphoerbgts says at times mr. hsieh comes across as an alien who has stud
you'd human beings in order to live among them. [laughter] >> it is partially true. >> stephen: are we making news right now? >> tonight on this show i'm -- no, actually in delivering happiness there's a section that talks about the science of happiness. that's actually a really interesting part of psychology that i started reading up there's a lot of interesting parts from the research that you can apply to not only your own personal life to business as well in terms of making customers happier and employees happy. people found that having perceived progress is an important element of happiness or having perceived control, being part of something bigger than yourself that has meaning to you. those are all things we try to incorporate into our culture at zappos.
>> stephen: when you say delivering happiness, why is -- that's making happiness very important. [laughter] i think happiness is overrated. okay. as a catholic, i've been taught -- [laughter] -- i've been taught to value suffering. [laughter] can you deliver suffering? >> i'm really glad you asked that question because that's actually a common response we get especially from the business world where really the mentality is where we should just focus on profits and happiness has no place in the work place. research has shown that if employees are capper and customers are happier that that actually drives business results and those businesses tend to out perform peers in the long run for example, everyone knows about the link between employee engagement and employee
productivity, one of the best predictors of that is whether you have a best friend at work or a number of friends at work. >> stephen: what if you don't let anybody make eye contact with you? >> if that's the culture of the company then you might have the best looking company in the world. i don't know. it depends on what you want. >> stephen: mr. hsieh, are you happy with how this interview has gone? so. >> far, yes. are you? >> stephen: if you are happy, then i'm happy. mr. hsieh, thank you so much tony hsieh, his book is "delivering happiness." we'll be right back. [cheers and applause] ♪ have a better day [ male announcer ] only subway has a deal this flat-out delicious -- the new $3 flatbread breakfast combo. [ moos ] a toasty 6-inch flatbread breakfast sandwich and a 16-ounce cup of freshly brewed seattle's best coffee. all for just $3. [ clucks ] build a breakfast of epic proportions, like the crispalicious bacon, egg, & cheese with everything from juicy tomatoes to zesty jalapenos,